Advice Dental Assistant Pre-Dental Society Tips

CDA Cares Sacramento 2012

This past weekend the CDA ran a free clinic titled CDA Cares at Cal Expo in Sacramento, CA. CDA Cares is a collaborative effort between the California Dental Association (CDA), the CDA Foundation, the Missions of Mercy, and the dozens of sponsors of the event. CDA Cares strives to provide free dental care to Californians in need.

Stephen O’Donnell, the president of the Pre-Dental Society at UC Irvine, and I volunteered both days at the clinic in every way we could. Throughout the two days we got the opportunity to guide patients around, assist with hygiene and extractions, and take x-rays. The event was an excellent place for pre-dental students to network, learn, and have a great time with other dental professionals. Volunteers kept the atmosphere cheery and efficiently worked to achieve a organization record breaking 1,100+ treated patients per day. This is truly an AMAZING accomplishment! To put that into perspective, the organization typically averages 1,500 patients across two days.

Throughout the experience, we met amazing new people like Dr. Craig S. Yarborough, the Associate Dean of the University of the Pacific Dental School, ran into old acquaintances, and got to work with dental companies who sponsored the event. We were shocked to see that while there were hundreds of dental professionals hard at work, there were hundreds more of volunteers who had no relation to dentistry and attended the event for the benefit of the community. Everybody was working together so efficiently!

Volunteering at this clinic has really opened up my eyes as to how many people in California do not have access to dental care. It is estimated that one in three individuals in California do not have access to dental care. We have learned through this experiences that some of these individuals truly care about their oral hygiene and will go to great lengths to get the dental help they need. Many of these people waited outside of Cal Expo for OVER 24 hours in order to get dental treatment.

If you get the chance, we would highly encourage coming out to one of these events so you can experience it firsthand. Everybody is friendly and you will not be asked to do anything you do not feel comfortable doing. If there is anything you have never done before, all you have to do is ask and most doctors will get a thrill out of getting to teach a future dental student a few pointers.

If you are interested in participating in a future event we plan to keep all PDS Irvine members updated by posting these events on the facebook group page. To Check out more photos from this event please visit our photo gallery for the event!


Recent Website Downtime

Annnd we are back! I want to apologize regarding the recent downtime of the website. I gave out my website information to quite a few people in the last two days and it is unfortunate that they most likely were greeted by the server error that plagued the website.

From what I understand, a few days ago my hosting provider upgraded the hard drive configuration on the server. Afterwards, anybody who attempted to access it was greeted with the following error:


I checked my files and they also disappeared! Luckily, I maintain very frequent backups and I have been able to restore the front page exactly how it was, however the remainder of the website will need a little bit more time to fix.

My recent participation in the CDA Cares Sacramento event made working to get the issue resolved a little difficult due to time constraints. However, what was frustrating about this whole ordeal is the fact that it took the support staff over 24 hours to begin an investigation even though the  forums were flooded with this issue. Once when they were aware of the problem, members of the community worked together to get things running smooth again. We were also told by the CEO that the server should be more optimized, and as a result running faster, than before once when the system settles down.

While a few days of downtime is not a big deal in the long run. It does impact the websites reputation as a reliable and professional source. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that occurred from this error. I am defiantly looking into a backup server that will take precedence in the case of a future server malfunction.

Thank you all for being patient! Check back VERY soon for a few new posts!

UPDATE:  The website is now back exactly how it was before this dilemma. WHEEW!

UPDATE 2: It looks like the problem has become more widespread now and has effected all the servers.  For some reason my website is still operating (maybe because the issue was already resolved for me a few days ago).  Anyways I should be on a new server now!

Advice Dental School Tips

Secondary Applications: Are you ready for them?

Right now we are in the middle of secondary application season for those who have already submitted thier AADSAS applications. If you have not submitted your application, please do so as soon as possible!

Secondary applications, also called supplemental applications, are used by many dental schools to get to know their applicants better, prior to offering an interview. A supplemental application allows dental schools to ask for additional information  that is not covered in the generic AADSAS application, but is important to that schools mission. Typically, you are asked to complete a supplemental application shortly after a dental school receives your AADSAS application and you have cleared the initial review stage. Supplemental applications typically have a short answer prompt, a few questions, as well as a supplemental application fee. Please BE SURE to pay the fee immediately, dental schools will not review your supplemental application until the fee is paid. Do not slow down your application because of this. This fee is individual from the AADSAS fee you previously paid.

Essay/short answer topics can vary greatly from school to school. They can be as simple as “Why Us?” or as open ended as a “What Would You Do?” in XYZ scenario. I would highly encourage  doing research about your desired schools ahead of time so you can give yourself adequate time to answer the short answer properly. Most schools post their supplementary application online and they commonly use the same one for many years.

Alternatively, you may find individuals talking about the supplemental application essays on resources like Giving yourself the advantage by doing this research will save you the stress of having to keep track and complete several secondary applications in the allotted time they give you. The ADEA has an excellent and up-to-date breakdown of what schools have supplemental as well as what to expect from each supplemental application so you can get items like photos, high school transcripts, and so-on, ready to submit.

Remember, your answer to the short answer is just as important as your personal statement. Having a weak short answer supplemental shows the dental school that you do not care and that their school is a low priory to you. It is vital to maintain the same quality level throughout your application.

If you have any questions please submit them using the Ask Elias page. Have a good day everybody!

Dental School Website

Almaz Dentistry is Now Half a Year Old!

Good evening! I am excited to announce that is now a half of a year old. WHO HOOO! The popularity of this website has been unbelievable! The number of private email questions has been going through the roof as the website grows its community. I am always excited to find a personalized email question in my inbox from a reader.

To celebrate our first six months, I decided to do some spring cleaning and release a nice update to the website that introduces switching banners. This new feature will allow popular content to be visually displayed in a large banner at the top of the home page. These can range from plain images, images with links,  youtube videos, countdown timers, etc. If you visit the home page, you will see a banner supporting Smile Train, an organization I hope to help donate to in the near future. Clicking on the banner links to Smile Train’s website. This allows readers easy access to more information about the organization. As the site continues to grow, more features will be added, things will only be getting better!

I have also added a nice little feature that links to posts that are “Recommended for You” based on the current ones you are reading. Keep on the lookout for it in the bottom right corner of the screen!

For those who are applying this season, I STRONGLY urge you to turn in your application ASAP. Based on reports at, we are in our 6th wave of applications being delivered to dental schools. Postponing your application any further WILL significantly increase your chances of become a rolling admissions applicant. This will TREMENDOUSLY hurt your chances of getting into the dental schools you desire.

One of my next topics will be secondary applications in preparation for the wave of secondary applications soon to be released! Expect this post in the upcoming week. I am also working on a new addition to my portfolio series, so keep an eye out for that. I will be returning to work as a full-time dental assistant starting next week and content may slow down during this time. As a result, I am looking for a partner to become an important part of the team as a writer. If you are interested, please submit your contact information using the Ask Elias form.

As always, enjoy the rest of summer and get ready for another exciting year towards your future as a dentist!